Did you miss Part 1? (This is still a message for white allies and white leaders)
Although creating a culture of justice, equity, and inclusion is rarely easy, the solution is simple. Do what you said you were going to do. Because the world—and your workforce —is watching.
If you need help, we suggest you center Black women’s work experience in your efforts.
So, what should your organization do to help Black women thrive at work? Here’s what we heard:
- Provide access to opportunities and create stable work environments where challenges are manageable.
- Give employees the autonomy to ask for and receive the support and resources they need.
- Ensure employees can focus and complete tasks in creative ways.
- Deepen understanding of how a team works collaboratively toward a common goal.
- Make sure employees have the agency to make decisions that create more feelings of autonomy.
Black women also told us that strong relationships are key. They require mutual trust, respect, and a willingness to take risks to achieve individual and organizational goals.
Please note: This list asks nothing of Black women.
It is not on them to dismantle a workplace culture they had no role in creating. They know the problems in your organization better than you do—but the people with the actual power to improve things are typically white. It’s on those in positions of authority to get the ball rolling—and then to keep it going until you’ve shown Black women can trust you to keep your word.
So what are the benefits of this approach?
- Demonstrates integrity: Your staff and customers/clients (both current and potential) know that you follow through on commitments and that supporting marginalized people is an essential organizational value. This, in turn, builds trust in your brand.
- Trains and grows a high-quality workforce: Employees who feel valued are more likely to perform at high levels—creating a supportive work culture, improving your organization’s reputation, and increasing your bottom line.
- Builds staff loyalty and strengthens recruitment efforts: Employees who feel valued tend to stay with organizations that treat them well—saving the enormous costs associated with staff turnover and building a solid recruiting team for future Black employees.
2023 is here. Time to get to work!